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    Vyshny Volochyok

Vyshny Volochyok is an old Russian town in the Tver Region.

It is located in the northeast outskirts of Valdai Hills, on Tsna River, 119 km to the northwest of Tver. It has a pier on the Vyshnevolotsky Reservoir and a railway station. Taking the area of 54 sq. km it has a population of 51403 people.

History of Vyshny Volochyok

It appeared as a settlement on the trading way from Novgorod to Moscow a drag (volok in Russian) between the rivers Msta (basin of Lake Ilmen) and Tvertsa (the left inflow of Volga) in 1471. A drag (volok, volochyok) is an overland part of the waterway, along which vessels were dragged through a watershed from one river to another by means of simple facilities or just with muscular power. The definition vyshniy (i.e. "the upper one") was meant to differentiate it from Nizhny (lower) Volochyok located downstream on River Msta.

In the 16th century it was a large craft settlement, named Nikolsky Pogost or Pogost on Vyshny Volochyok.

In 1703-1722 following Peter's I order and under the direction of Dutch masters the first artificial waterway which connected the basin of the Volga River with Petersburg was constructed near Vyshny Volochyok. The way along Msta and Tvertsa Rivers to Volga was one of important means of communication of the western countries with the countries of South East Asia.

From the 18th century sawing plants, mills, and smithies started to appear in Vyshny Volochyok and its vicinities, and shipbuilding started developing. But the main occupation of the towns dwellers was servicing the vessels passing by the Vyshny Volochok water system.

From 1770 Vyshny Volochyok was a town of the Novgorod Province. In 1796 it joined the Tverskaya Province.

In the second half of the 19th century Vyshny Volochyok was a large textile industry center. It was one of the best-furnished towns of the Tverskaya Province. It was embellished with channels and sluice-gates surrounded with gardens and boulevards.

After reduction of boat traffic on the Vyshny Volochyok water system and formation of new shopping centers on the railway (Bologoye, Spirovo) the economic value of the town came down with a run.

In 1856 the town of Vyshny Volochyok in the Tver Province had 5 churches, 1671 houses, and 226 shops.

Before 1917 Vyshny Volochyok was a place for political exiles. Here V. G. Korolenko and V. P. Obnorsky served the term.


Vyshny Volochyok has a museum of local lore and a museum of seamen veterans. The appearance of the city is mostly determined by industrial and residential development of the 19th -20th centuries. In the center of the town there are old shopping arcades (1837, 1852), the Transfiguration Church (1783), the channel embankment (18th century), and the Kazan Convent (the 1880s) preserved.

On the right bank of River Tsna, by a granite lock there is a stone two-storeyed house (1703-19), where Peter I used to stay.

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Vyshny Volochyok
  (Tver Region)

Cities of the region

    Zapadnaya Dvina

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